Wednesday, June 21, 2006

REMEMBER FANNIE MAE? -- Dan Gainor wonders why so little coverage on television, and thinks it might be because "this was a Democratic scandal."
Since last year's study period ended on Feb. 1, 2005, CBS has reported on the Fannie Mae scandal just twice -- both the same day of the $400-million settlement. NBC has mentioned it just once and ABC has been completely out to lunch. CNN has mentioned it just six times -- a decline in its coverage.

None of the stories discussed the roughly $30 billion in lost value to stockholders since this scandal has hit the news. None of them mentioned this was a Democratic scandal.
Gainor's problem here is that Enron is a false analogy. That entity imploded, Fannie Mae has not. Enron's two top executives were just convicted by a Houston jury following a long criminal fraud trial, while Fannie Mae has settled and no executives have been indicted (yet). In other words, it is difficult to compare the coverage of a scandal that is more fully developed with more plot points and opportunities for pictures of angry ex-employees (Enron) to the coverage of an early-stage scnadal when the only real plot point (so far) has been the release of a scathing report and the announcement of a $400 million settlement (Fannie Mae), which doesn't exactly have the same television appeal.

Of course, Gainor points to the $40 billion loss associated with Fannie Mae to argue that it is a big scandal. He's right about that -- it is a big scandal. Is it as big as Enron by that same measure? I don't know, and Gainor doesn't say.

Contra Instapundit.